Celebrating Twenty Years of Living Waters
If you knew who was offering you a drink, you would have asked
and He would have given you Living Water. John 4:10
Twenty years ago, three sisters of St Joseph, Sister Carmel Moore, Sister Marie Jones and Sister Nora Connolly came together to live a community life with a priority on prayer together. They decided to offer opportunities for Christian Meditation based on Benedictine spirituality guided by the works of such eminent people as John Main, Thomas Merton and Laurence Freeman, all Benedictines.
So Living Waters Meditation Centre was born. Living Waters because Jesus offers us living water and the convent in Pell Street Merewether Beach was near the water.
From this small beginning, there are now twelve Meditation groups throughout the diocese of Maitland -Newcastle. This is a significant contribution to the spiritual health of the diocese, providing opportunities for deeper connection to our creator God. It is ecumenical – open to all and global, providing connection with other meditation groups throughout the country and indeed the world.
On Saturday morning, 4th November 2017, about sixty people gathered in The Chapel at St. Benedict’s Parish Centre to celebrate twenty years of Living Waters Meditation.
The morning celebration was joyful with a simple prayer table focus, two sessions of meditation led by Ann Cuskelly and Judith North, morning tea, spoken tributes and a parable about Meditation from Sister Carmel Moore. The woman in Sister Carmel’s parable ‘…learned to look directly into the thoughts, the chatter, the commentary, to gaze in, but to look over their shoulder, look beyond… “Goodness,” said the searching woman, “I just came to meditation for something like a cup of tea and a Panadol – now it is number one in my life.’
The spoken tributes contained such ideas as –
People being helped physically, mentally and spiritually
Gentle calm presence
Putting God at the centre of our being
Joy of people
Opportunity to get away from the 24/7 stresses and demands of 21st century living
Power of silent group meditation (At the sound of the gong there was immediate silence)
The calm, peaceful, humble quality of the leadership of Sister Carmel
The morning concluded very fittingly with Paul Ross playing Amazing Grace on the Scottish bagpipes. Living Waters Meditation sessions continue in St Benedict’s Parish at the Living Waters Centre, 34 Kenrick Street, The Junction: Monday 6:30pm; Wednesday 7:45am and Friday 11:00am. Drop in when you can!
Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38
First published by Kathy Russell in the Merewether Newsletter
See also the Adult Faith Formation Newsletter for more about meditation groups in the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle